Half of the detained suspects in the Azeri case in Cyprus have been released from custody after their attorney argued that circumstantial evidence was insufficient to warrant their pre-trial detention and pointed to little chance of conviction.
A Nicosia court on Monday ordered three out of six detained suspects in the Azeri case to be released from custody, after defense attorney Cassandra Koupari argued there was little chance that circumstantial evidence would result in their conviction.
The main defendant in the case, 38-year-old Russian national Orkhan Asadov, is facing dozens of charges in what has been described by Israeli officials as a terrorist plot to target Israelis on the island.
Cyprus police have kept a tight lid on the case but it has also been suggested by some reports that the case involved a financial dispute over unpaid Russian debts.
Their defense attorney Cassandra Koupari argued there was little chance that circumstantial evidence would result in their conviction
Asadov, who is of Azeri background, is the main defendant in the case while five other men, four from Pakistani and one from Lebanon, are also facing numerous charges.
According to local media, prosecutors say two of the three released defendants used a social media chat application to share the address of one of the alleged targets with another defendant, while the two suspects have denied involvement in attempted murder.
The other released defendant appeared to have returned some money to another defendant but it was reported that the amount was for a different reason and unrelated to the case according to what he told investigators.
During the hearing on Monday in a Nicosia courtroom, the presiding judge ordered the three men released on a €2000 bail each, with additional terms including another €3000 bond signed by a creditworthy bondsman, while their names would be added to a stop list and they would need to report to a police officer every day.
The arrests of the five co-defendants came about after police gained access to their phone records.